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Comment: Human Rights Data Analysis Group (Score 1) 112

by bubbl07 (#48393173) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's the Doctors Without Borders of Technology?
There's also the HRDAG [hrdag.org]. They do a lot of data analysis, but that requires engineering talent. Lots of consultative-type work that has an impact. See the podcast at YANSS [youarenotsosmart.com] for more info. *Previously posted as AC because I forgot to log in. Oops.

Comment: Amazon is a scapegoat (Score 1) 315

by bubbl07 (#47011617) Attached to: You've Got Male: Amazon's Growth Impacting Seattle Dating Scene
This is symptomatic of the gender inequality of their hires and hiring for this sector in general. Instead of "blaming" Amazon, we should insist that all tech companies (including Amazon) support more education amongst the underrepresented genders, races, etc.

It's in their best long-term interests, anyway, since working for Amazon (for example) is now less attractive because it's now... less attractive literally. At some point the increase collective pay they'd have to offer will be greater than the amount they could use to fund these sorts of initiatives.
Microsoft

Microsoft Discloses 14,000 Pages of Coding Secrets 217

Posted by Zonk
from the super-seekrit-secrets dept.
OrochimaruVoldemort writes "In an unexpected move, Microsoft has disclosed 14,000 pages of coding secrets. According to The Register: 'This is Microsoft's latest effort to satisfy anti-trust concerns of the European Union, which is possibly a tougher adversary for the company than Google.' The article mentioned that this will be done in three phases. 'Between now and June it will garner feedback from the developer community. Then, at the end of June, Microsoft will publish the final versions of technical documentation — along with definitive patent licensing terms.' Lets just hope those terms are pro open source."
Wii

Wii Homebrew Takes Several Leaps Forward 275

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the make-it-and-let-your-fans-make-it-better dept.
Croakyvoice writes "Fans of Homebrew on the Nintendo Wii can celebrate with an explosion of releases today, in just a few hours there has been a release of a proof of concept version of Linux for the Wii, an MP3 Player, the Super Nintendo emulator Snes9X has been ported and a converter that converts Gamecube Dol files into Elf for usage on the Wii (Which opens up a multitude of emulators and homebrew games and applications). A tutorial on how to get homebrew working with the Twilight Hack will help those interested."
Media

How-To On Ajax Code To Show Movies and Slide Shows 73

Posted by Zonk
from the showing-them-around dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Sites like Flikr and YouTube show just the tip of the full potential for media on the Web. An IBM DeveloperWorks article provides some easy implementations of video and image browsing that you can use in your own project. Learn how to combine media with technologies such as PHP and Ajax to create a compelling experience. All Sample code is made available, and if you're into Mashups the site's Mashup resource space should have everything you need to create a Mashup of your own."
Music

Review of Amazon's DRM-Less Music Download Store 437

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the gosh-you-mean-if-i-buy-it-i-can-keep-it dept.
fdmendez writes to tell us that he had a chance to check out Amazon's DRM-less music download store that was recently released as a beta trial. "Amazon one-ups the iTunes store in every way except for popularity. Never once did I find an album to be more expensive on the Amazon store in comparison to the iTunes store. The download experience was pleasant, and the lack of DRM truly makes it YOUR music. I don't know of any other download service that could top the Amazon MP3 store."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Major Linux hardware donor entangled in red tape->

Submitted by
christian.einfeldt
christian.einfeldt writes "James Burgett of the Alameda County Computer Resource Center in Berkeley, California, calls himself a "fat tattooed freak," but CNN has called him a hero for his efforts to get 16,000 Linux computers to those without a computer or the means to easily get one. But now, Boing Boing is reporting that James the hero is in danger of being fined out of existence due for storing parts for too long; or, more exactly, not being able to prove how long he has had been storing each and every item in his warehouse-sized inventory. O'Reilly Radar columnist Dale Dougherty suspects that it is an overzealous new inspector out to prove her cred. Meanwhile, James the hero, who is crusty and known for salty language, ain't taking to the shut-down kindly, and, for the first time ever (he says) is now asking for the open source community for help with publicity, logistics, and yes, cash."
Link to Original Source
Operating Systems

+ - 30 things I've learned from using Linux ...->

Submitted by BBQ-buster
BBQ-buster (666) writes "ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has an interesting article called "30 things I've learned from using Linux ..." where a long-time Windows user discusses some of the things that he's learned from dabbling with Linux for a few months.

1. That I don't have to pay money to get my hands on a credible operating system.
2. There are far more Linux distros available that I have time to try them out.
3. Switching to Linux does not mean trouble-free computing.
4. Whenever you ask a Linux user which is the best distro, invariably the answer you'll get is the name of the distro that they're using.
5. In my opinion, the best Linux distro is Ubuntu.
6. No matter how much I like a GUI, and no matter how lazy years of using Windows made me, there's a lot to be said for using a command line.


Overall it's a very positive Linux article that should inspire others to give Linux a go."

Link to Original Source
Software

+ - Review: Parallels Desktop vs. VMWare Fusion->

Submitted by nsayer
nsayer (86181) writes "A very, very long time ago, I used VMWare (before it was named VMWare Desktop) under the Linuxulator on FreeBSD to run Windows 2000 for the occasional windows-only application. But when MacOS X came out, I rather quickly bought a mac and have become an almost exclusive Mac user. But, as before, there would be an occasional need to run something that was Windows only, so I suffered with Virtual PC. When I upgraded to my first Intel mac, I switched over to Parallels Desktop, and, as before, have been using it to run the occasional Windows app under Windows XP. When I tried the first VMware Fusion public beta, all it did reliably was crash my machine, so I didn't really pay attention to VMWare after that. But suffice to say that I have used virtualization and/or emulation technology almost continuously since its inception.

Skip forward to a couple weeks ago and I heard about VMWare's pre-release special pricing offer for a copy of Fusion. This is the first point to bring up — the price of virtualization software has come way down. I believe that's in part to the competition that now exists in the space between Parallels and VMWare. And that's a very good thing. I don't remember what I paid originally for that first copy of VMWare so long ago, but I believe it was north of $150. I bought my copy of Fusion for $39. Vive le competition.

Both offerings have very similar feature sets. Both install special 'helper' software within your Windows guest operating system to facilitate things like video resizing (if you drag the Windows window larger or switch to full screen mode, both will resize the video area accordingly), mouse pointer sharing, drag and drop file copying, clock synchronization, etc. Both support some type of "undo" functionality that allows you to take a snapshot of the guest as it is now and at some future point revert back to the snapshot if something goes wrong. Both have a mechanism for running Windows programs in their own windows along side your mac apps (hiding the Windows desktop). Fusion calls this Unity, Parallels calls it Coherence. In those areas, it's pretty much a tie.

Both offer software that you can install on Windows either on a physical computer or on some other virtualized environment that will copy out the Windows installation and make a new virtual machine out of it. Here, I give Parallels a slight edge because the VMWare solution is actually hidden on their website and is actually designed for their enterprise products (but happens to work for Fusion). Also, since VMWare guests use ACPI and Parallels guests don't, you wind up with some virtual hardware quirks that require reinstalling Windows to completely clear up (Windows XP doesn't support switching from a standard PC to an ACPI PC without reinstalling. But you don't have to wipe the disk, you can just reinstall Windows itself, painful though that is). Since Windows tends to accumulate a lot of cruft in the registry anyway, a clean reinstall isn't a bad idea in any event. But if you have a lot of software that you don't want to have to put back on, you don't have to.

VMWare guests can run with both cores of your multi-core CPU (if applicable), Parallels guests are uniprocessor only. Unless the Windows software you use is heavily threaded, I'm not sure you'll notice too much difference there. Both systems seem to me to be responsive when dealing with typical interactive software.

Both systems support acceleration of 3D API calls, however my mac of choice is the Intel mac mini. VMWare doesn't support acceleration on the integrated Intel 950 chipset. I don't typically play 3D games, but I did try BZFlag under parallels when the 3D support was announced. I was able to get more or less the same frame rate as when I ran the native OS X BZFlag client. I haven't repeated this test with VMWare, however. If 3D games are your reason for booting Windows, then perhaps Parallels might be a better choice right now.

Both systems allow you to suspend the guest and resume it. In both cases, the normal Windows APM/ACPI suspend/hibernate functionality is avoided. Instead, the guest is simply halted in its tracks and upon resumption, the virtualization tools fix the clock and other sorts of things. VMWare's guest tools allow you to set up scripts that will run at suspend and resume time. But the big difference I've noticed is that when I resume a Parallels guest, the entire machine (both guest and host) seem to be mired in a tar pit for about a minute. From what I can tell, it's probably paging the guest in from a memory mapped file. But there is no indication of what it's doing or how long it will take. By contrast, when suspending or resuming a VMWare guest, there is a progress bar to let you know how much time is left, and when the resume process is done, the machine responds instantly at full speed. VMWare wins this one hands down.

One application I use under Windows is the Netflix WatchNow client. When you watch video in it under Parallels, you can often see tearing effects. Presumably these are caused by a lack of synchronization between the refresh rate of the host's monitor and the guest's virtual frame buffer. Whatever the cause, it can be quite annoying. But VMWare doesn't have that problem. Score another victory for them.

Another differentiation in behavior is when playing You Don't Know Jack: The Ride. Under parallels, this game has choppy, stuttery audio and often pauses for seemingly no reason. Under VMWare, it works perfectly. It's only an anecdote, and it's not a show-stopper for me, but it's nudge in VMWare's direction.

So in the end, I have to give the victory to Fusion. For a 1.0 product, it's more than just a strong contender, it's the clear victor. Can Parallels catch up? Sure, but given how long they've had a mac product, it's surprising that they need to."

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Businesses

+ - Open source to define the future, says Sun's CEO->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""We're in the second wave of the Internet. The companies that will win will be those that define this next phase. Open source will define it," says Sun's CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, in this interview during LinuxWorld. Sun's Schwartz repeatedly chastises the old guard of software for focusing on monetization of every software user, and instead suggests that adoption of free software today will result in tomorrow's great software businesses. While Schwartz suggests that the perfect business model has yet to be discovered for open source, he concludes, "[I]f you don't have adoption, it won't matter what business model you use. Companies that sell open source are prioritizing community and adoption over instant monetization. We will win.""
Link to Original Source
Linux Business

+ - Major "Internal Reorganization" at Linspir

Submitted by Linspire Insider
Linspire Insider (905214) writes "Just two and a half weeks after the Deal with Microsoft, Linspire President and CEO Kevin Carmony was asked to clear out his locker on July 31st. And yesterday, August 2nd, several additional people were laid off or fired, or just quit, including most of the OS team and their only localization expert. In total, seven employees were lost, bringing the company roster down to around fifteen people. All this, despite the large influx of cash from their recent partnership, shows that Microsoft deal was useless to more than just users.

The near disbanding of the OS team is indicative of a major shift in the company's business model, now focusing almost entirely on their Click-N'-Run service."

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